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My goodness, Tertia, if you are not a cheerful giver, who is?

Maimonides (holy old Jewish fella) identified 8 levels of charity. Giving something gladly to someone you know is good; even better is giving before you are asked; even better than that is giving anonymously, and so on. You can Google Maimonides and tzedakah if you want specifics. But the highest level of giving is to help someone so that he can strengthen himself to the point where he no longer needs help from people. By Maimonides' lights, you are doing pretty darned well. You are also giving others the opportunity to do kindnesses to their fellow creatures, and that's also a blessing, ya know?

Interesting topic, as usual! I have no idea how you come up with the time to write so well, and on so many various things. When I'm racing around trying to keep the basic shit together doing the laundry (realizing there is no bottom to the basket) I always think of you. Wonder woman! :)
Thanks for keeping me entertained and giving me some food for thought everyday.

This is so timely for me. I was actually just thinking about Mr. Harrison yesterday, and this very topic!

I hope that Mr. H. doesn't think he owes us anything. I know for me (and I'm sure for many others), we just feel connected to him now, and want to give a little more, in the form of love and good wishes for his family, by way of cheering him on. Thank you for a thoughtful post - I think about this topic often, if not to rid myself of all thought of gain in giving, at least to bring my own expectations to consciousness.

Meansomething posted just what I was going to say. Dale Carnagie didn't invent those steps towards giving. They are one of the foundations of Judaism!

the movie doesn't seem to load? and when I go to it directly on youtube its marked as a private video. anyone got any smart ideas?

Tertia I think you underestimate quite how much you do give with your writing - if you want to think about it this way, its a quality product which you give for free to all of us.

Tertia, this is really touching. I really love this post and relate to it personally. I'm not a HC either but I strive to be a "cheerful giver". Unfortunately I am usually more of a "complaining taker", but I am trying REALLY hard to change. You and sister Mel are inspirations.

Tertia, I love how while in the midst of a sad moment you so frequently seem to think of others. This is a wonderful characteristic you have, do not underestimate yourself when it comes to giving. Even though you have a tendancy to write a lot about your negative personality traits, and it is so admirable that you acknowledge, embrace and deal with those issues, your actions show that you are in fact quite a thoughtful and giving person.

Thank you for sharing Harrison's story.

I am so very sorry about the negative.

Love to you and your family,

Cherith (from way back when)

I love his smile at the end of the video - such a smile of joy!

A lot of people start a centence with "Dr Phil said..." These day's I often start by saying "Tertia wrote today..."

Love your blog, love the way you write, love you amazing beautiful, intelligent kids! (Although you have not met mine yet...)

Adorable, love his smile.

You are truly amazing that in spite of your pain you are still thinking of others.

You rock!xxxxxxx

He has such a gorge smile at the end!!! Love it!

it was a pleasure to help make a difference in harrison's life, and to watch the video with his lovely smile and giggle. that was really, really super.

ps - and i am sure you duffed up on the draw thingie and that a prize is coming my way soon? you just didn't want to offend all your other readers and post my name?

Harrison's HUGE grin at the end just speaks for itself, doesn't it?!

Harrison, you have a beautiful smile!

That boyish giggle and smile in the last 1-2 seconds of the film make it all worthwhile. What a handsome chap this Harrison is!

Levels of Tzedakah

Certain kinds of tzedakah are considered more meritorious than others. The Talmud describes these different levels of tzedakah, and Rambam organized them into a list. The levels of charity, from the least meritorious to the most meritorious, are:

1. Giving begrudgingly
2. Giving less that you should, but giving it cheerfully.
3. Giving after being asked
4. Giving before being asked
5. Giving when you do not know the recipient's identity, but the recipient knows your identity
6. Giving when you know the recipient's identity, but the recipient doesn't know your identity
7. Giving when neither party knows the other's identity
8. Enabling the recipient to become self-reliant

Good post Tersh. His smile is beautiful. The best thing about what I do, is seeing how kind people are. You are much more generous than you think you are, I am much less generous than you think I am. I am a hoarder, I don't always give cheerfully.
Your nose is much bigger than mine, mine is much smaller than yours.
I love the levels of Tzedakah. I love giving things sometimes without anyone knowing, I don't even tell Gary and I know it gives God a little smile that this hoarder is learning.

OMG he's just the cutest EVER!!!

and rofl at Sister Mel

I have a huge honkin nose, too. I should come be in your family. Except I'm fat, and I don't want to be the fat one, so nevermind.

Damn it, I just can't win! Fat AND big nose. Sigh.

We ALWAYS get something back when we give - ideally it's just a good feeling. The HC point of view is that every transaction has three persons: giver, receiver and God. We give to remember what God gave to us, which is everything, and to please Him. Which generally results in a really good feeling and love for the receiver. We DO get something back, just not from the receiver. That's if all goes well, which sometimes it doesn't; my giving often gets tainted by my own selfishness and ends up being about me, like that blog post said.
By the way I am HC but I swear and drink just as much as I need to. Best of all worlds, really.

Glad to hear Harrison is doing well. I had been wondering how he's doing. It is true that we get back what we give, which is why giving can be so rewarding. Some say what you give can come back to you threefold.

How cute is he?? What a lovely smile he has, it is nice to see him look so happy. :)

What a beautiful smile he has!! And what a joy to see it - thank you!

He has an amazing smile! It lit up my room! Thank you for sharing!

His smile just made my day.. he is just too cute for words.

Absolutely precious. Pinch his cheeks for me, would ya?

That is the best thank you ever. Harrison's smile from ear to ear just warmed me from head to toe.

I am a selfish 'giver' I suppose. I get so much out of making others happy or comfortable it seems it is they who are doing ME the favor. A stroking of the self esteem, I suppose, to know I did something good and to be so appreciated :)

(Currently helping out an 86 year old woman who is determined to stay in her home until the end. Her stories of growing up, surviving a war, being widowed, raising three kids alone, moving to a new country and through accident involving her husband, supporting herself, her kids, and the husband. The woman inspires dammit. If helping her means I can soak up more of her strong willed spirit and wisdom then by gawd call me selfish. :)

Goodsandwich spoke for me when she posted "we just feel connected to him".

That's often my reward for giving. When you are too poor/needy to give to others (and I've been there), you feel very cut off and isolated. Now that I am in a different position, I love to give. It makes me feel like part of humanity. It's best when I know it benefits a specific person. I don't want gratitude, per se, but I do love to know that my contribution made a difference to that person. I don't know where that fits in Maimonides' levels of giving!

Tertia - that is SO divine. I am going to show Monica on Thursday. He looks so much younger without the beard. Brought a lump to my throat. xxx

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